Is the Nude London Tech Calendar a good idea?

| 41 Comments
| More

When I first heard about the Nude London Tech Calendar my reaction was one of indifference. It reminded me of the popular people at school and their regular charity fashion shows. Back then, I decided if people want to go parading around showing off their knobbly bits, that's fine. It's insane, obviously, but fine - I couldn't get my head around why anyone would want to jump about on a stage being judged by little weirdos like me. But it's up to them. I'll watch with a vague sense of fascinated horror before going home to read my Enid Blyton books, while you parade about. That was how things worked between me and the popular people.

I'm still pretty indifferent, and mention the calendar on this blog long after I heard about it, mainly because of a blog shared by Techcrunch Europe editor Mike Butcher on Twitter this week by Eileen Burbridge.

The calendar will feature both men and women; it's for charity; and god knows technology needs a marketing facelift. But I'm with Eileen on this one - I thought the "stars of the London tech scene" being featured in the calendar were supposed to be business people? And surely there's a way to improve the tech sector's image that doesn't involve copying the Women's Institute?

Eileen, who runs her own tech company and was formerly at director level in Yahoo!, says, "If you're in this business and want to be taken seriously as a woman, keep your clothes on. If you want to be perceived and judged as clever, quick-witted, with good business acumen, laser-focussed on your work and generally with your shit together, then keep the primary attention and focus on your cerebral achievements and don't over-flaunt your physical assets."

I'm still fighting my indifference but my biggest objection is that it all seems a little bit ego-driven, a little too similar to school-time fashion shows and perhaps not the image I'd want to cultivate if I was starting and running an internet business. But then again, I'm not starting a tech business, and I'm not an internet big-wig, so maybe I know nothing about how they want to be perceived. If London's hottest tech stars feel the need to share their knobbly bits with the rest of us, they have my blessing. I haven't enjoyed fascinated horror on this level for quite some time.

41 Comments

  • I asked for my picture to be immediately removed as soon as I heard I was going to be the first person featured. I thought and still think, it would have been inappropriate and not something I wanted to be associated with. It's also something I wouldn't want my kids to see - mostly because the picture was taken from a private facebook group - which is another story and a lesson learned the hard way.

    I might have looked at it differently if it was published by Computer Weekly.

  • My reaction to the calender pretty much the same as yours & Eileen's. Firstly, that as a concept it's a pretty tired idea. I'd like to think that the social tech/tech sector - which is often berated for being *too* shiny, new and fast moving could have come up with something slightly origional. However - maybe they'll amaze us all with the execution, and it won't turn out to be just another naked charity calender.
    Secondly (and again, this is going to depend to some extent on the calender) taking your clothes off hasn't historically been the best way of getting taken seriously as a professional woman, outside of some professions. The women involved are all adults though, and must have all thought long and hard about the potential implications before putting themselves forward. And secured an agreement that they'd have final sign off on the image to be used.

  • I am astonished at the focus being taken here.

    There are *both* men and women being featured in this calendar, but you are saying it is only the women who will compromise their ability to be taken seriously if they take part in a good natured, elegant charity calendar. You are saying it is ok for men to participate, their integrity won't be called into question, but women's will be?

    I am one of the women participating, and I'm terrified. I had my photo taken last night, and its confronting, but I would hope that 1. people take it in the spirit in which it was intended, and 2. we are not living in dark ages where people will think "Ah, there is a strong independent successful woman, but *now* that we can see a little more of her skin than normal, well, she is clearly rubbish". Really? That is what people think?

    If so, then they clearly aren't the people whose opinions I respect anyway. I'm doing this with my head held high, to show that *both* women and men in technology have a fun side, and can band together to do something that helps those less fortunate than us.

  • I have to agree with your sentiments Rebecca and think the analogy of the school fashion show is spot on.
    I am never one to knock anybody for doing something for charity but like you I feel indifferent about this project. Like most charity events / initiatives, I think the proof of success will be in the net gain for the charity versus any gains made by the individuals involved.
    In respect to the gain for the people involved there is always the risk in this instance that the effect could be negative so I suppose all credit to them for taking this risk, especially for charity.
    I am interested in how the calendar turns out (as per Josie's execution comment) and the charity benifits rather than any specific content.

  • Alicia - unfortunately women are less likely to be taken seriously than men - it's a fact of life that it's more difficult for women to be taken seriously biz generally... so taking your clothes off will not do you favours in my opinion.

  • Thanks for the comments - Alicia I should probably have made it clearer that my comments apply to both men and women, but women tend to be judged on their looks more and are at a disadvantage in lots of ways when it comes to this sort of stuff. Eileen does make that point, better than me. I don't think that anyone who's involved will definitely been seen as rubbish - it's more that it's something I can't imagine *ever* wanting to do, but if people feel like they want to, that's fine. Obviously, people will judge the participants on lots of stuff, not just this. But you have to admit that a nude calendar is going to have some support, and some criticism - it's a vaguely controversial thing for business men and women to do. Which is probably why the organisers chose it.

  • Is it just the focus on women you're surprised at, or the criticism of the project in general? It's a rather tired idea, and looks egotistical when it's young attractive people posing instead of old ladies of the WI. Egotism isn't something many people look for in a business partner, male or female.

  • Just to clarify, Paul Walsh was not nominated, was never on the shortlist and there was never a "picture" anywhere. Any suggestion to the contrary is an outright untruth. Nor was he to be the "first person featured". The picture to which he refers was a joke on Twitter and had nothing to do with the calendar, which he would never have appeared in had he wished to or not.

  • I'd also like to echo what Alicia said - the wierd focus on women is wholly unnecessary and distracts from the point of the endeavour. It's a light-hearted bit of fun designed to raise the profile of (and raise some money for) a superb charity.

  • Really, Paul?

    It's hard to believe that such an preposterously disingenuous twisting of the truth is coming from the same person who told me in an email recently that he was "the most straight to the point, honest person you will meet in your life".

    Extraordinary.

  • Thanks Rebecca, in fairness, both you and Eileen did make it clear your views extended to both men and women, although it is disappointing that we women are still given the "its unfortunate but true that you are going to be criticised more for this sort of thing".

    I think this is all being taken a bit too seriously though - it was all about a bit of pre-Xmas charity fun, good-natured, cheeky, full of volunteers working really hard to pull it together.

  • Personally speaking, I won't judge anyone (male or female) who appears in this calendar for takign their clothes off... I'll judge them based on their willingness to take part in a project which has such dubious motives.

    Milo says that project is designed to raise the profile of and raise money for "a superb charity", but I'm pretty sure the project came before the charity. Is that right?

    If so then there was no: "oh here's a great charity, what can we do to help it" conversation. It was more "let's get our friends to take their clothes off for a calendar and find a charity to do it for". That's the wrong way round.

    I think even Milo woudl agree that he is a serial self-promoter who wants to inject a bit of sexiness into the London tech scene... naked lube wrestling anyone?

    But in this case I think it's backfired because the idea is so hackneyed, tacky and just a bit naff. I'm afriad you can't pass something off as a 'light hearetd bit of fun" and then burden it with charitable intentions, especially in such a close knit environment as the London tech community.

    I'll donate a tenner to the charity if everyone just stops talking about it and leaves the project to die on its arse.

  • it's definitely disappointing - believe me I don't think it's right that women get judged more for this kind of stuff, but I do think it's true and it won't change for a while, depressingly. I do also get that it's just a bit of fun, it was just the business context that made me a bit skeptical. I think it's one of those things that's going to divide opinion, whatever the original intentions. Also re: your comment on Eileen's post, it may well help to change the image of tech as being totally male. We definitely need lots more of that.

  • Could appearing in a nude charity calendar be a bit of fun? Yes, of course it could - anyone who's seen Gok Wan's Naked show will know that some of the participants clearly do get a great sense of empowerment from doing their saucy shots. Could it raise money for charity? Yes, definitely. But could participating in it also damage someone's business reptutation? Yes, undoubtedly so. Not in everyone's eyes, but in those of some.


    It's up to each individual to decide what they think - but I hope those who've signed up to take part in this calendar have done so with the full realisation that this also applies to those they may wish to work with in the future.

    Not all potentially fantastic employers / suppliers / clients will see the funny side - some may be staunch old-school feminists, others may have religious or cultural beliefs that mean they have problems with it (especially relevant if you want to do business internationally), some may just be plain jealous of your body confidence!

    And yet others may just think that being willing to take such a risk with your own reputation displays either immense naivety, complete lack of strategic forethought, or a flagrant disregard for the interests of others. None of them aspects likely to feature in the 'personal requirements' section of any job spec!

  • Milo (and this will be my last comment on the subject), you asked me if I wanted to be in the calendar when we had a brief encounter at the Twestival when I made it clear to you, that I thought the use of my picture and the entire tacky project was all inappropriate.

    In the email thread (which I won't put into the public domain), it contained the following copy with the image attached "here's @paulwalsh entry". You also told me it was for the calendar. So, quit the bullshit.

  • Its a tough one this...personally I have no problem with people taking their clothes off, particularly for a good cause like raising money for a worthy charity. In many ways I respect those who are brave and confident enough to bare all to all and sundry.....some of me suspects that there maybe some ego-stroking in their desire to do so, but hey, I don't really have a problem with that.

    What is more interesting is the debate raised by Eileen, can you be a successful businesswoman in tech (a sector that is still in the dark ages when it comes to their representation) if you take your clothes off, for charity or not?

    And on this point I tend to agree with Eileen, it ain't going to do you any favours and enhance your career. Not just from your peers, but also maybe from your employees, who may not agree with your libralism.

  • If you want to refer to emails, let's publish the entire thread? Your comment doesn't event attempt to debate my point. Instead, you make snide personal remarks - get to the point or shut up.

  • I'm slightly amazed that this blog post by a professional media organisation has not even mentioned what the charity, Take Heart India, (that will get all the cash from the sale of this calendar, plus the marketing awareness) actually does. Can everyone here please go read the site. If you are too busy obsessing about flesh, I've pasted it for you below. Please read the bit about how £37 will get a blind student a job FOR LIFE. Frankly I hope the calendar is sold for that amount each:

    From their site:

    http://www.takeheartindia.org/about.htm


    Take Heart is a youth run charity focused on practical education projects in India. We are relatively unique in the charity sector for two reasons: 1. We do not employ a single person, which means that 100% of proceeds are directed out to our education projects in India. 2. We run with the leitmotiv "Work builds, charity destroys". Rather than giving money we aim to empower people through practical education.

    Since 2004 Take Heart has built an English language and *IT school* that has provided real job opportunities to thousands of students. The school specialises in training blind students IT skills. **It costs just £37 to provide a 6 month training course which secures these blind students with a job for life.**

  • Thanks. Yes, it is for charity, yes, that is important, yes I could have included the name of the charity and yes it obviously does brilliant work, as do most organisations like it. I’d like to look more at what it does and perhaps cover it in its own right. But including its name wouldn’t have changed any of my points about the project – and the charity was never the first reason for doing this calendar. I remember the first tweets on it – the idea was aired, and then it was decided it was going to be for charity. Which is great. But to write a blog post on it and not mention the charity by name is not missing the point, it’s making one of a range of possible relevant points. By not making the charity the main focus of my comments on the project, I’m only really echoing the emphasis that the organisers and those involved have put on it. From my observations, the emphasis always seemed to be on the people in the pictures, and perhaps helping to change the way the tech sector is perceived. The charity is evidently important to many taking part, but it comes across as something of an afterthought.

    Anyway, I never really thought the post would be so contentious – I intended to make fun of the overall project a bit, rather than personally offend anyone, or try to insinuate that any women involved are “setting the women’s movement back 20 years” or something. Of course they’re not. To take my criticism that seriously is missing my point. To reiterate, it is of course totally up to the individual, and I won’t seriously judge the people who do it (maybe I’ll have an opinion on it, but you took that risk when you chose to put yourselves in a naked calendar – same as I take the risk of criticism every time I put my views in a blog post), and neither will many others.

    Incidentally, taking part will probably be different for someone like Alicia, who’s been in IT for years, runs a successful company and is well-known, than it would be for someone working in a male-dominated corporate IT department or company with male bosses, or a younger woman who hasn’t yet proved herself by being successful, who needs to go out and get funding or clients. I’m not saying it’s definitely a bad idea if you’re young! I’m just saying perhaps you’ll go see a potential client one day and he’s some pervy old fool with your picture on his wall. For me, that would be horrible and it just expends unnecessary energy. There are more pervy old male fools than there are pervy old female fools, so women tend to be adversely affected. If you feel up to taking on the not-particularly-enlightened, that’s brilliant. But not everyone is.

  • MT Faisal Alani

    Let's be honest, the London Nude Tech Calendar is a fantastic ego exercise.

    "I've come up with a great idea"
    "I'm going to appear naked with all my chums"
    "I'm raising awareness"
    "I'm raising money for charity"
    "I can see it now, we'll be hailed as heroes! Wow"

    There are better ways of raising money for charity and awareness without being narcissistic and egotistical.

    Using the charity afterthought to justify it doesn't make it a good idea.

  • Wow, Bobby, you harbour some anger there, don't you.

    People don't sit around planning an excuse to take their clothes off. However, the startup community in London likes to come up with initiatives, and in the approach to Xmas, we wanted to do something good as well as fun. Milo and I actually talked about what charity we should focus on, and I remember my very good friend Lucien talking about this charity he is personally involved with, and that it particularly benefited blind women in India, and that really inspired me, which is why I suggested it to Milo and why it is now the chosen charity. One can aim to be good in general, and then find a worthy cause to direct that goodness.

  • It’s a calendar girl style fundraiser for an amazing charity. MUCH more exciting than raising money by running or sponsoring another marathon.

    And…this is not just any charity. Take Heart India stands out in that all the money donated to the them goes straight to the education and improvement of young people’s lives in India. Nobody inside the charity gets paid a pence, all volunteers.

    Have a look, and spread the word: http://www.takeheartindia.org/main.htm

    As to how the funds are being raised and people getting their clothes off, this is exactly the type of thing we need to be doing more of as a generation. As long as it is done tactfully and respectfully (which it is) the calendar is a much more effective way to raise the profile and some money for Take Heart India.

    So get involved when the calendar comes out in November. Buy one or two. Mention it to your friends/colleagues/moms/dads/grand parents. It’s chatworthy and word will slowly spread about Take Heart India.

    To the critics, respect as ever, but let’s come together and get more people having a laugh while raising money for things that matter.

    Let’s all put some creativity (and maybe even a bit of cheek from time to time) into how we make a difference.

    Again that link:
    http://www.takeheartindia.org/main.htm

    PS full disclosure i am one of the many volunteer organisers (camera crew, admin, creatives, desigers, etc) helping to support the project for Take Heart.

  • You mention Enid Blyton. I have just published a book titled, The Famous Five:A Personal Anecdotage (http://www.buybooksontheweb.com/product.aspx?ISBN=0-7414-5495-5).

    Stephen Isabirye

  • Is there anyone who isn't involved in this calendar who wants to speak up for it as anything other than ego-massaging for a great cause?

  • I'm quite amazed by the hatred feelings towards this calendar and honestly can't understand what the fuss is all about.
    I'll pass on the discussion on women being unequally treated/considered because it's the hard reality and I don't really have a solution for that. Also because there is some sort of consensus on that fact... What bothers me is all this ego thing...
    First off the calendar has nothing to do with the "stars of the London tech scene" nor the "hottest tech stars" as reported here. It's just about a bunch of people trying to leave their mark in what they do, which happens to be in the tech scene. So please stop banging on the bloody ego thing. I bet that the problem with some people is that they would simply be in the calendar but they aren't, so they complain... and the real problem is that this calendar is not a status symbol or anything, so please get a grip and stop whining.
    Also, from this post I gather that a serious web entrepreneur should be shy, reserved, with little to no ego, etc. Well, my impression is that lots of successful entrepreneurs from any business field aren't really like that and probably the opposite is much more likely. Not that I go too crazy for the American attitude, but we could definitely use a bit more of optimism and self confidence here in London/UK/Europe.
    And for me, yeah I'm quite narcissist and I happily joined the idea of the project (despite not being a star nor having the body of a model), but believe me that I'm not scared of anything bad to happen from my being into this calendar (losing biz? being taken less seriously? nah...) and I'm not relying on it for anything (girls? money? fame? nah...) if not for a good laughter and to help some people in need.
    If you can't live with it then you have a pretty sad life my friends.

  • Forget how money is being raised for a second. Thanks to this so called "tired idea" a worthy cause is receiving much needed funding and publicity. It costs just £37 to provide a 6 month training course which secures blind students with a job for life, imagine how much the money raised from this calendar will help.

    At least something is being done. I think people get so into criticizing everything nowadays, they forget the actual impact the final outcome will have on these peoples lives. Remember, 100% of the donations will go to the education projects.

    The guys at Leap are doing a fantastic job of helping out with this, a hearty well done to all those have participated or have signed up for this and a definite thank you to Milo and everyone else involved in bringing this together.

    p.s. the pics look amazing and tastefully done

  • This is getting ridiculous. Think it's time I waded in the debate. I haven't done so yet because, quite frankly, I have more important things to do with my time and energy, like working on the relaunch of my company, than trying to justify actions that clearly don't need justifying.

    Hell, if I'd listened to all the people that had told me 'no' or 'you can't that' or paid attention to people 'bitching' then I wouldn't have achieved half the things I've achieved. Part of being an entrepreneur is about taking risks and, as Alicia quite rightly says, pushing boundaries. I understand from experience that if you do something differently people will react- it's human nature, people are adverse to change. Constructive debate is good, but the debate surrounding the calendar is becoming a personal attack on all involved.

    Get a grip: We don't live in the 18th Century- You'd see more sexual suggestiveness in Madonna's latest music video or in a copy of the latest Cosmopolitan magazine. These are people/publications that a vast majority of young females aspire to be like/read as standard media. If you've got beef with us going nude in a tasteful and dignified manor for charity then maybe you should be directing your beef at our explicit society as a whole.

    Secondly, Eileen and Rebecca- you've set yourselves double standards in focusing on the women in the calendar. Hello? Has everyone forgotten that there are 12 men doing the calendar as well? So let me get this straight - If you had it your way you'd just have 12 men posing nude and not the women as 'it could be detrimental to their business reputation' and not the mens'? If the answer is yes then you yourselves are discriminating against women - Of course I agree that women are more susceptible to criticism, but if we accept this position and never challenge it, it will remain the status quo.

    Faisal in saying there are 'other ways to raise money for charity' you are also discounting all the money raised by the original Calendar Girls for Cancer research and also the many 'copy' nude calendars which have collectively raised thousands for charities all over the world- are you saying they'd have raised more money doing a walk? I don't think so. Eileen, Faisal- If you think being in tech we could have come up with something more 'innovative' -then why don't you come up with something 'original' yourself and organise the whole thing? Go on, do it, I double dare you.

    I believe the Internet is a catalyst for changing the way people are doing business. The stuffy, corporate mindset is shifting to a more personal one. Social Media is a prime example of people wanting to connect on a human level- the views of those opposing the calendar seem to be stuck in the old corporate mindset. I envisage (and hope) that in the future this mindset will be lost and people wanting to write their own rules in business will be able to do so without having to waste time dealing with unfounded prejudice.

    Take Heart is a brill charity. If you think western entrepreneurs are something - you should see India's entrepreneurs- they are incredibly resourceful and can make huge returns on a small amount of investment.
    Even though a waste of time, I hope this debate, if anything, draws more attention to the cause and in turn raises more money for Take Heart India.

  • Mike Butcher has edited his copy and paste on the charity. He's left out that the charity says: 'Take Heart primarily supports a parent organisation called the MSS'

    mss.niya.org

    What does that mean?

    THI is registered with the Charity Commission as: WE RAISE MONEY FOR OUR PARTNER INDIA CENTRES. WE HAVE BUILT AN IT AND ENGLISH LANGUAGE SCHOOL IN RURAL INDIA. THE SCHOOL IS A FANTASTIC SUCCESS AND TRAINS BLIND, DEAF, DUMB AS WELL AS ABLE BODIED STUDENTS IN IT SKILLS. ONCE THEY GAIN THESE THEY ARE GUARENTEED A JOB FOR LIFE.

    When did it build an IT and English language school, in the 60s, 70s? The charity was set up in 1964 (charity number 235829). What has it done lately? Financial year end 07 it spent £932.00. Here's it's list of trustees and committee members:

    Lucian Tarnowski Sebastian Tarnowski
    Eugenie Stockwell Gavin Costelloe
    Katie Forcey William Maude-Roxby

    Committee:

    Adrian de Montfalcon . Clare Bullock
    Daniel John . Edward Taylor
    Eugenie Stockwell . Filippa Kindblom
    Gavin Costelloe . George Braithwaite
    Gina Skilbeck . James Firman
    Jerome Touze . Joshua March
    Katharine Realff . Katie Forcey
    Lucian Tarnowski . Malcolm Scovil
    Marcus Dawes . Matthew Law
    Melissa Sterry . Mike Bayley
    Nicholas Reed-Clarke . Oliver Barnett
    Oliver Bolton . Peter Ward
    Rajeeb Dey . Robert Hoare
    Sam Branson . Sam Hare
    Sebastian Tarnowski . Selina Roberts
    Simon Ambrose . Sneh Khemka
    Sophie Maguire . Sophie Milnes Coates
    Susannah Prins . William Maude-Roxby

    Financial year end its income was £18,075, it spent £19,629. On what? Since 2003 it's been run by Lucian and Sebastian Tarnowski who took over the running of the charity from their Father. Lucian Tarnowski's contact address is in Mayfair - International House,
    Mayfair, London.
    W1J 7BU

  • Personally, I haven't used a paper calendar for years. Therefore i probably wouldn't buy it. Wouldn't mind a nuddie Hermione skin for google calendar though. Or maybe a mooning mylo screensaver. Phwoar. Seriously, why don't these hugely successful egotists just donate a couple of grand each? What's that? You'd rather have a new MacBook? Shows how much you really care.

  • Thanks all for your comments to this post. In response to Mike we will happily find out more about the charity's IT projects in schools and run this as a photo story if we can get enough information.

    This blog post asks the question: is it a good idea for business people to take their clothes off, whether for charity or not? I wonder how many Microsoft or IBM employees are featured in the calender? And will your colleagues and peers feel more or less disposed towards you after they have seen your naughty bits! And is there a different view taken for women as opposed to men?

    All very valid questions, I think, and I guess these were questions that those who took part have asked themselves and found their own answers to.

    I'm sure everyone hopes that the calender raises money for a worthwhile charity, it would be churlish not to do so. However, that shouldn't stop those of us in the media from raising the issues that surround it.

  • Personally I would far rather pay £10 per hour to each of the self-styled "elite" *cough* to work in a soup kitchen to show they really give a s**t about helping the poor.

    TechCrunch could take it one step further; let's have Mike set up a webcam in the soup kitchen and moderate the whole thing in a Dennis Pennis/Chris Evans styled approach. Users could pay £5 to watch 10 minutes of the whole ordeal, I for one would be watching all night!

    We should obviously have an interactive Twitter element to the whole thing, I propose we set up the hashtag #souptech and see if we can it trending! Imagine how brilliant the tweets would be!

    "Milo, you've forgotten to give a a bowl to the small child with herpes! Silly boy! #souptech"

    "Hermione, you've still got some vomit in your hair from the pregnant woman with one arm, get off your phone! #souptech"

    "Silly Paul Carr, you've managed to knock over that mans methadone, he might not buy your book now #souptech"

    It would raise a fortune and show the world that the hardworking, glamourous twitterati really cared about more than their iphones, macbook pros, free PR events and their lonely little egos.

    Or maybe they could just all go home and build the technologies and applications that drive the industry forward rather than just writing and talking about them?

    /rant

  • This is a thinly-veiled circle jerk amongst the Twitterati.

    I challenge the notion that this is an effort from the “Tech Community.” Those who are pushing this calendar are the usual suspects that latch onto the tech scene for their own self-promotion. They attend the parties, drink the free booze, pout and pose in the photos, gush liberally in their blogs, get free tickets for the next event and thus the cycle continues. They're not part of the "tech" community I know and love.

    I also don’t buy that this is being done this for charity. Watch the promo video at http://nudetechcalendar.ning.com/ I count about 10 seconds talking about the kids in India, and about 1 minute 30 seconds of the calendar makers talking about what sexy, successful “entrepreneurs” they all are.

    It’s a distasteful, disingenuous w*nkfest.

    Actually no, that’s unfair. It’s not a w*nkfest. There won't even be a stray nipple.

    (EDIT: mild profanity edited by Comm Ed, to save websense etc hittage)

  • Bob, reading that comment truly made my day. Do you have a twitter account I could follow?

  • I have to agree about "being taken seriously", I assume the consequences play out like this:

    "We have no doubt that partnering with you would be an incredible asset to our company but I saw that you were in that tech nude calendar thing and to be honest I just can't take you seriously now. I'm out"

    #sarcasm

  • I have to agree about "being taken seriously", I assume the consequences play out like this:

    "We have no doubt that partnering with you would be an incredible asset to our company but I saw that you were in that tech nude calendar thing and to be honest I just can't take you seriously now. I'm out"

    #sarcasm

  • Hmmm... so now we have people attacking the initiative because women in it will be considered poorly, and in general because anyone participating in it is clearly only doing it because they are egotistical and want an easy way to raise money for charity. Right?

    I am always infinitely surprised by the number of people who always leap to assume the worst intentions in everybody. Is that a sign that that is what they naturally leap to? Perhaps consider assuming by default that the motives are not all evil, and err on the side of encouragement rather than critique. I just don't see why everyone needs to be negative on a blanket basis. Sure, its funnier to bitch about people, it certainly makes for more entertaining comments to point out the flaws in everything. But I really do encourage people to think about *their* motives in doing so.

    Why not assume that this initiative is a way that penniless entrepreneurs (and we *are* penniless, everything I own is invested in my business on the slim chance it might be a success), so I don't have a spare £1000 to donate to charity. Instead, I can use up some of my spare time to participate in a fun project that we hope might raise some funds in a way that will give people a good natured giggle.

    You are entitled to think what you will, but rather than attack people for their contribution to a charity calendar, why not approach your critique with a 'charity' mentality, and help the initiative, rather than poke holes at it. And perhaps - with a kind heart - assume not all contributors are egotistical, but normal hard-working people who were asked to take part, and dared to say yes in the hope that most people would be supportive of such an act.

  • Actually Bobby, the naked lube wrestling was my birthday party which I asked Milo to help with. It was purely my idea, with 70% of people there being close friends of mine and not part of the tech scene at all. Milo was simply tweeting about it to help me promote the launch of my new company and get some more people there.. honestly get your facts straight, and don't assume that Milo is just trying to sexify the scene or something..

    This calender is a bit of fun, which will raise money for charity, everyone has donated time to make it happen, the costs of production will be tiny so all the money that is raised whether its a little or a lot will go straight to the charity.. why is it an issue??

  • Just to clarify on behalf of Take Heart India. 100% of proceeds we raise go to the cause. We do not pay anybody for Take Heart - this includes the committee of 36 people mentioned above. Since my Father set up the charity in the 60's we have supported the work of Baba Amte http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baba_Amte who set up our parent institution called the MSS (see http://mss.niya.org or http://www.anandwan.in).

    I took over the running of the charity whilst at University. Since then our donations have grown year on year. Two years ago we finished fully funding our IT training centre that focuses on training blind students in computer skills. This has been hugely successful and guaranteed jobs already for hundreds of people. Check out our Head Teacher talking about this here: http://www.takeheartindia.org/projects.htm

    I personally was happy to appear in the calendar. This was not to build my ego but rather because I thought it was a fun way to support Take Heart and build awareness for Take Heart. Also being part of the London Tech Community (I run http://BraveNewTalent.com) I think it is a good example of the active community we have developing.

    I would add that as charities go Take Heart is relatively rare. There are not many charities that don’t employ a single person and raise as much as Take Heart. We try to maximise our impact and rely on innovative ways to fundraise such as this calendar. I am hoping this year we may even top £100k in donations – this makes a massive difference out in India.

    For all those people rubbishing this initiative, I am sorry but I don’t understand how you see this initiative in a negative light. People are having a good time doing something fun for a good cause – all very innocent stuff. Perhaps a simple solution would be to donate to the cause without buying the calender! I hope we are not forcing this on anyone.

    For all those in support – I would like to thank you both personally and on behalf of Take Heart your support. It is really appreciated.

  • Ok, this thing's way over-commented but I've only just now seen it a few points have been missed:
    - Entrepreneurs - male or female - will ultimately be measured by whether they've created a successful and interesting business; Gone are the days that a good idea and some PR can raise millions to run an operation
    - From what I understand of the project, there will be no nobbly bits (sorry, Paul & Clark)
    - Of course it's fun - just like karaoke and other 'put your self out there' things - and if it raises a few bob for a good thing, great

    Now get back to work, all of you.

  • Hi,

    Would you like to show your mom, sis, daughter and wife NAKED for charity?
    You people are barbaric and animals.

  • Leave a comment

    Computer Weekly is supporting

    CWT everywoman in Technology Awards

     

    Subscribe to blog feed

    About this Entry

    This page contains a single entry by published on October 22, 2009 12:25 PM.

    Know someone with good advice? No Country for Young Women connects the generations was the previous entry in this blog.

    Calling all men who tech - time to speak out for female colleagues is the next entry in this blog.

    Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

    Archives